THE 2022 SERIAL SQUADRON/
MOVIE SERIAL RESTORATION PLEDGE DRIVE
PURPOSES OF THIS PLEDGE DRIVE
GOALS: MAKING “LOST” AND RARE MOVIE SERIAL CONTENT VIEWABLE / DIGITAL PRESERVATION OF UNIQUE MOVIE SERIAL CONTENT
The count of complete or near-complete American movie serials in existence right now which have not been transferred to video at all stands at about 47. The Serial Squadron would like to restore and return as many of these as possible to public availability in digital form, particularly those which are critically endangered -- at risk of disappearing forever due to decomposition or loss. This requires a considerable amount of processing power and specialized, up-to-date hardware and software. By upgrading our systems, we can minimize errors and project completion times, and maximize the ability to move on to new titles efficiently while producing the highest-quality restorations possible.
The Squadron started restoring serials in 2002 with the release of ZORRO’S FIGHTING LEGION, the first movie serial ever published on DVD. It is now 2022 and video technology has recently begun to rapidly advance past DVD resolution as a standard. Widescreen digital HD has become the new norm for television broadcast and the Blu-Ray the new standard for physical media.
We have a great setup for restoring SD video and making DVDs here, and it’s still good for that, but Blu-Rays of 12 to 15 episode serials which include 4 to 6 hours of content can take days or sometimes over a week to compress and burn on our current equipment, which is longer than a practical amount of time. Hardware we have been using is now slow in comparison to new computers and file transfer and storage systems.
With up-to-date equipment all stages of work on HD/Blu-Ray projects including conversion, assembly, editing, processing, compression, mastering and burning can be accomplished more efficiently and effectively. Including projects of serials you have not seen before, which have never been commercially released or been viewable in HD digital transfers. With up-to-date computers and software, for instance, new HD projects could be burned in a day rather than a week
In the past we have tried various solutions for customer service and communication, but there is still a need to streamline the process to create a single, effective channel for customers to rely on for quick responses. Receiving inquiries by phone, email, social media, and postal mail to answer the same questions creates confusion because it makes messages difficult to record and organize.
We would like to set up a customer/patron contact/communication system which includes an account for each patron or customer so that people can get immediate answers about the status of their customer, patron and channel subscription accounts, tracking information, etc., all in one place.and orders and requests can be checked and shipped more easily. Azura has agreed to participate actively and should be compensated for her work better than the Squadron has been able to in the past. So she has been included in this crowdfunding plan.
COMPLETION OF EXISTING LABOR-INTENSIVE
AND LONG-RUNNING-TIME SERIAL PROJECTS
We’d like also to see previously announced projects completed, including THE TRAIL OF THE OCTOPUS, THE HOUSE OF HATE, THE KING OF THE KONGO, THE ADVENTURES OF TARZAN and THE MYSTERY MIND, which will require a lot of extra and specialized work. The current method of using funds from Patreon subscribers and incoming orders to fund more time-intensive projects as well as simpler new ones has caused some more complicated new HD projects to take twice or three times the amount of time to produce DVDs and Blu-Rays than it should. If money that comes in from one project tends to go right back out again as it is put toward the next transfer or film acquisition, it isn’t possible to put multiple transfers into production at once and get a head start on a new project while the current one is being finished or burned. In order to get new projects done more efficiently it will be necessary (and smarter) to try to raise funds to get ahead of the game and pay for prints and transfers further in advance while others are still being restored—on multiple computers including a very fast one designed to be able to handle restoration, compression and burning of large-scale 4-6 hour HD projects.
The Squadron is now setting up a television station so that chapters of ongoing restorations can be accessed and viewed before the entire project is complete, and so that anyone in the world will be able to view the Squadron movie serial archive collection on his or her TV, smart phone, or other digital device.
The new Cliffhanger: The Movie Serial Channel will allow new projects and individual chapters of new projects to be posted and available on Roku, smart TVs and other devices as soon as they are restored and ready to view, rather than having to wait for a whole serial to be restored, proofed, corrected, burned and shipped on a physical disk. The channel will also allow posting of serials, documentaries, new content such as interviews, trailers, related shorts and commentary by serial authors and experts. The service has been arranged for and uploading serials to the service has begun. The channel will be available worldwide and is expected to be another source of funds which can be directed toward new serial restoration projects.
SETUP OF A REAL DIGITAL ARCHIVE
WITH ARCHIVAL STORAGE AND ACCELERATION EQUIPMENT
After having worked on serial restorations for twenty years and about 100 titles, it is time for the Squadron to begin maintaining a digital archive of its projects old and new, and to convert these serials for broadcast on the Cliffhanger Channel. Right now we have external hard drives all over the place with content that is in danger of being lost if not archived properly. We must upgrade the archive of previous and current Squadron projects with new storage equipment, which will allow HD and 4K video transfers to be stored, converted and processed, and add an accelerator which will allow speedy conversion of existing projects from one format to another, such as HD MP4 for video streaming. With upgraded equipment, conversions for uploading could be done ten times faster than our current setup.
HELP THE SQUADRON “KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK” AND
ENTER THE WORLD OF BLU-RAY PRODUCTION AND BROADCASTING
You can help the Squadron achieve all these goals by subscribing to the Cliffhanger channel, becoming a Patron, or participating in an online pledge drive designed to raise funds to pay for all the described improvements and new film loans, transfers, and restoration projects. This new fund raising drive is a “flexible” campaign in that incoming support can be applied to the various investments and whether it reaches its ultimate goal nor not, still improve the efficiency of the Squadron operation and speed up the release schedule.
Here are the specific details of the Serial Squadron plan for classic movie serial restoration in 2022 and the near future.
PLEDGE DRIVE LEVELS SUMMARY & LINKS
Click the blue links for more information
Introduction: HISTORY OF THE SERIAL SQUADRON
PLEDGE DRIVE TIER 1:
HD EQUIPMENT UPGRADES, CONTRIBUTOR SUPPORT,
and TV CHANNEL
Tier Goal: $15,000
1 RESTORATION AND DIGITAL ARCHIVE EQUIPMENT
& COMPLETION OF CURRENT PROJECTS
Make the Squadron HD/Blu-Ray ready with new restoration,
effects, storage, and compression equipment
2 SQUADRON CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS/SUPPORT Help Azura stay on the job and get a new order account system set up
3 CLIFFHANGER: THE MOVIE CHANNEL SETUP Get the Cliffhanger channel on the air
TIER 2: SERIAL RESTORATION PROJECTS
Tier Goal: $16,000+
CURRENT PROJECTS NEAR COMPLETION
THE TRAIL OF THE OCTOPUS
THE HOUSE OF HATE
16mm FILM TRANSFERS TO HD
SON OF GERONIMO
THE MASKED MARVEL
ADVENTURES OF TARZAN
THE SECRET CODE
HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS
RETURN OF CHANDU
GHOST OF ZORRO
THE KING OF THE KONGO
THE MYSTERY MIND
THE VOICE FROM THE SKY
THE CRIMSON STAIN MYSTERY
NEW 35mm TRANSFERS TO HD
THE EVIL EYE
THE GREEN ARCHER
ADDITIONAL 35mm TRANSFERS
REWARDS & MORE INFORMATION
HOW THIS PLEDGE DRIVE WORKS:
The Lost Serial Restoration Fund
GO TO THE ACTIVE PLEDGE DRIVE PAGE